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7 Quick Tips for Handling Stress

Stress is all around us. Every day I encountered burned out and stressed out pastors. Regardless of your career, it appears life is more stressful than ever.

I would say learning to handle stress may be one of the more important things you can do to lead effectively and long-term.

I hope this post can help a few stressed-out leaders.

Here are 7 ways I handle stress:

Prayer – God really does answer this request. When I’m really stressed out, I get alone with God. Prayer doesn’t always change my situation, but it always changes me to remember who is ultimately in control.

Time management – Most times a well planned schedule will greatly diminish stress. I try to plan my activities at the beginning of the week in a way which allows for unexpected interruptions, yet still also allows me to complete the tasks required of me.

Exercise – This may be my best secret for battling stress. The more stressed I am the more I need to run. I’ve been known to disappear on a busy day to get some exercise.

Disciplined life – There are activities and habits which simply add to stress. If you stay up way too late and never get enough rest, your stress-factor will increase. When I’m especially stressed, I try to build in down time and time just for me.

Balance – I have learned to say “No” to some things and balance my time between all the things that pull for my attention. I find when I try to be all things to all people I am not much good to anyone.

Addressing known problems quickly – If a relationship is causing stress, the sooner I deal with it the less likely I am to stress about it. If I need to make the hard decisions – I make the now. The sooner I deal with those things I know I need to the less long-term stress it brings.

Asking for help – When I am really at my limit with stress, I am not too proud to tell someone. I have learned to delegate well and allow people the freedom to speak into my life as needed.

What tips do you have for people to lower their stress? How do you handle stress?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Ibe Tochukwu says:

    Great post…prayer yes..
    Like seriously one of the best way I have handled stress personally was through listening to spirit inspired christian songs. Also spending time with loved ones on social media

  • Greg Conley says:

    Great post as usual! All of these are great points and should be utilized which requires #3 on your list… discipline. One other thing that helps me is "my time." This is time for myself… could be reading, writing, golfing, or whatever one enjoys doing. Spend some time doing that one thing you love to do. Everyone must have some "my time" and this can fall under time managment, exercise, balance, and discipline. Sounds like discipline is pretty important and many may lack this trait which is adding much stress to one's life. Thanks for the reminders Ron!

  • purplelephant11 says:

    Exercise! The release of endorphins – our bodies natural 'high' – really helps lower stress levels. Even more so with the iPod volume up loud with music that directs my thoughts towards God, leading to prayer, praise and worship, entering His presence 🙂

  • This is one you mentioned in your other post, but Sabbath is huge for me. It's the most important spiritual discipline I practice. There are times when it keeps me going when it feels like little else is. I know there's one day a week when I can stop doing and start being. There's a great book on Sabbath and rest called "The Rest of God" by Mark Buchanan.